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Essentials to transform learning for the digital age

15 August 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Olivia Palmer
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Last month I facilitated a workshop for AAE Digital Strategy on Digital learning strategies. The group was highly engaged and its members spanned a broad range of professions from medical and engineering to sports and higher education.

Whilst the individual challenges faced be each participant were very diverse, each left the workshop with their own unique plan and learning path which focused on creating an easy, enjoyable and accessible learning experience for their members.

 However, one thing that really struck me, was a common challenge faced by everyone; how to make learning easier and end the culture of pushing vast amounts of content onto an indifferent membership. 


It mirrors the findings of a popular Human Resources Learning and Development survey: 

“7 in 10 (employee) learn online because they want to do their job better and faster”
Towards Maturity 2016, Learners voice part 3*

1. Choosing a suitable learning format to support members expectations: 

When professionals are asked what formal Initiatives they find most useful for learning, the answers are.

  • 57% classroom course
  • 47% self-paced e-learning
  • 39% Live online learning
  • 36% Open online course
  • 18% Games and simulation 

I have always found it interesting that live online learning gets a relatively small share of this % until I did my research and had some fascinating conversations with learning specialists. It seems that live online does not always get all the credit it deserves. Very often trainers and subject matter experts presenting don’t know how to transfer their skills to online and therefore it gets missed. 

Crucially they often fail to leave enough time for that all important mix of interaction and activities. When choosing “Live Online Learning” as part of the digital training mix, it is absolutely essential to equip trainers and give them an opportunity to experience live online training prior to their first delivery not a dull and boring webinar. 

Digital facilitation skills are in growing demand according to Towards Maturity and upskilling your team of trainers can have long term benefits your association. 

“66% of the organisations don’t feel they have the skills in house for live online delivery 
BUT  
37% plan to increase this in the next two year”

Towards Maturity – In-focus: preparing the future of learning 2016 


2. No technical digital tips 

Keep it simple: Your members are obligated to learn how to use their employer’s technical environment but they won’t use other systems if it is hard to find information, hard to access or clunky.

Instead they will go and learn somewhere else: You tube, industry suppliers, accessible home-made article/ blog from a member 

**When designing content remember that half of professionals (48%) use personal mobiles to access work-related learning** 

About half of your members are likely to only start looking at their learning needs at the point of need. It means that when designing online learning, it is essential to 

  • Make content easy to find: use tagging and filtering 
  • Make content easy to read:  how will it look when read from a phone screen?

Tip: Set up reading material in power point, not word and use a font that reads well and is no smaller than 20pt

Using online learning must be a way for your members to work better and faster, not an extra layer of complexity. Digital learning only works if it is convenient and easily accessible on our everyday tools. 

Digital learning solutions must be first and foremost geared toward learning, they are neither audit tools nor a data capture system. Making it easily accessible and intuitive for your members is the guarantee to a successful launch of a digital learning project.

*Towards Maturity 2016, Learners voice part 3; Towards Maturity runs an annual extensive survey about the state of corporate learning. Developed for the benefit of HR and Learning and development, it is however a mine of information for any one working in adult education.  The shorter In-Focus reports are easier to read than the annual survey and give some vital information to the direction taken by adult education. www.towardsmaturity.org


About the author: Gaëlle is a certified online facilitator and coach whose work for RICS received an E-learning Award in 2014 in the category “Best use of synchronous online learning/Virtual Classroom”. Gaëlle founded SyncSkills to enable trainers and training organisations to transform and adapt their courses to the virtual classroom without compromising on quality or losing any of their individual course identity. Gaelle works with national and international organisations to design and implement unique, innovative learning strategies for commercial training organisations and membership bodies.

E: gwatson@syncskills.net

T : @GaelleDWatson

L: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/gaellewatson

W : www.syncskills.net

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